Niaulani Rainforest Reserve, Volcano Village, Hawaii. Scrape your shoes against the stiff metal brushes at the trailhead. Knock off any traces of invasive seeds, or the fungus that causes Rapid Ohia Death. This forest sprouted

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I must have passed this tree dozens of times over the years while hiking this trail in Chugach State Park. Maybe I’m walking a little slower these days, but today I pause to appreciate him—the

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Mary’s Review One of my favorite Alaskan writers, Mary Odden, posted this beautiful review of my book Rivers and Ice on her blog recently. Thought I would share it here.

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Blog: Night Music

Night Music

Net jacket, mosquito repellent, headlamp. I’m ready. Ten of us follow Juan, our native Amazonian guide, over the stone path, past the tool shed, through the orchid greenhouse, into the night. Leaves crunch beneath our

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Blog: Winter


I try to settle into winter, but it won’t settle. Forty inches of snow last week, another nine inches two days ago. Yesterday turned cold, a chilling fog settling down on the city. Then, last

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Blog: One Fall Day

One Fall Day

The boat scraped the rocks and halted with a thud. Wedescended the ladder and jumped to shore. I’d been looking forward to this hike for weeks, but the day was all wrong. Wind, rain, choppy

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Blog: Return of the Birds

Return of the Birds

Fifteen of us, of various ages and levels of bird knowledge, face into an icy wind on Glacier Spit across the bay from Homer, Alaska. I’m bundled in three layers of clothing below the waist,

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Blog: Return of the Light

Return of the Light

Give me the light—five more minutes a day. Spring in Alaska. It’s a seduction game. Frozen nights, thawing days, another snowfall, and the cycle starts it all over again. I love/hate this time of year.

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Blog: January Ice

January Ice

Brilliant sun, mostly calm, temperature in the twenties. Nine of us, including my granddaughter Carly, home from college for the holidays, follow the ridge above Furrow Creek as it flows beneath the ice into the

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Blog: Getting Out

Getting Out

Late November. Gray sky, chance of snow, high twenties. We lose four minutes of precious daylight a day. Two voices argue inside my head. One says: stay inside, read, eat cookies, and take a nap.

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Blog: One Small Thing

One Small Thing

September. Boots, raingear, gloves, old clothes. We’re ready. Four women. Trish, the arborist, is our leader. She’s already dug shallow holes for planting. Small pots with spruce and birch samplings wait in the bed of

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Blog: Tracks


Seven women climb up a trail in the Chugach Mountains on a sunny April afternoon. Temperature in the forties. Trail conditions: slush, ice, occasional patches of mud. On our feet, each person wears a different

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